Beastars, Vol. 1

I don’t read a ton of manga but this one was recommend to me by a friend and I’m glad I read it. It has an interesting premise and was a good start to a series. I liked the main characters and am interested to see what happens to them.  I will definitely be continuing this series.

From Goodreads:  At a high school where the students are literally divided into predators and prey, it’s personal relationships that maintain the fragile peace. Who among them is a Beastar—an academic and social role model destined to become a leader in a society naturally rife with mistrust?

I think to enjoy this manga, you have to be comfortable with the concept of animals walking, talking, and having emotions like humans. I can imagine that this idea is too wacky for some (and that’s okay!) but I found it to be a unique spin on a generic plot:  high school and the trials and tribulations of its students. This first volume does a good job of introducing the reader to the characters and the world they inhabit but it was a bit confusing at first to keep the characters straight. By the end, I could figure out who was who but it took me some time. The story begins with the murder of Tem, an alpaca and a member of the drama club.  Everyone is sure a carnivore is to blame and all eyes turn to Legoshi, a quiet gray wolf who seems intimidating but is very sweet.  We also meet Louis, a red deer and head of the drama club, and Haru, a dwarf rabbit who has been ostracized due to her sexual promiscuity. It is implied that everyone is keeping secrets from themselves and each other.  Everyone in the school longs to be a Beastar-“an individual of great talent, service, and notoriety,” but we don’t yet know what this entails and how one becomes a Beastar.  Of course, nothing is revealed in this first volume but there are enough teases to keep the reader guessing.

This was a really great introduction and sets up an interesting story and world. The characters all brought something different to the story and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Author:  Paru Itagaki

Published:  July 16th, 2019

Rating: 4 Stars

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